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  • A Recipe: All Occasion Focaccia

    A Recipe: All Occasion Focaccia
    Focaccia is one of my favourite breads, not just because it's tasty AF but  very versatile. There are a number of different occasions where making a focaccia might be suitable - it's an excellent showing-off bread, excellent for when you want to make bread but don't have much time and, importantly, is excellent if you screw up bread dough, as it can be readapted easily.  In each of these, the process to make focaccia varies a little, so rather than just relay a normal recipe, I have started with a basic ingredients list but then added several different processes for these different scenarios. 

    Ingredients
    500 g fine white/strong white flour
    350 g warm water
    5 g salt
    150 g sourdough starter / 10 g fresh yeast / 3 g dried yeast
    50 g olive oil plus extra for topping
    Toppings: this can be a sprinkling of sea salt flakes, rosemary sprigs or other herb sprigs, chilli, cracked black pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, grapes... whatever takes your fancy really. In the above photo I have used figs, quartered and thyme.
    Process
    (USE IF: You just want to make focaccia normally, with enough time on your hands).
    1. Dissolve yeast in water.
    2. Add the flour to water and yeast and mix until just combined. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
    3. Add in salt and mix well for 5 minutes. 
    4. Add in the olive oil slowly to the well-mixed dough. It will take some time to absorb all the oil and you will be left with quite a wet, oily dough. 
    5. Leave the dough to prove for 1 - 3 hours, covering the bowl with a wet tea towel. 
    6. Oil a wide, shallow baking tin well and tip the now risen dough into the tin. Gently stretch the dough so that it fills the tin. Let it proof for another 45 minutes.
    7. Preheat your oven to 200oC.
    8. After the second proofing, use your fingers to push dimples into the focaccia. Sprinkle a good glug of olive oil, any toppings you have chosen and salt. 
    9. Bake for 25 minutes. 
    10. When it comes out of the oven, add a little more olive oil to the hot bread. Wait for it to cool, slice and serve. 

     

    (USE IF: You are really in a hurry) 
    1. Dissolve yeast in water. 
    2. Add the flour to water and yeast and mix until just combined. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. 
    3. Add in salt and mix well for 5 minutes. 
    4. Add in the olive oil slowly to the well-mixed dough. It will take some time to absorb all the oil and you will be left with quite a wet, oily dough. 
    5. Leave the dough to prove for 1 hour, covering the bowl with a wet tea towel.  
    6. Oil a wide, shallow baking tin well and tip the now risen dough into the tin. Gently stretch the dough so that it fills the tin. Let it proof for another 30 minutes. 
    7. Preheat your oven to 200oC.
    8. After the second proofing, use your fingers to push dimples into the focaccia. Sprinkle a good glug of olive oil, any toppings you have chosen and salt. 
    9. Bake for 25 minutes. 
    10. When it comes out of the oven, add a little more olive oil to the hot bread. Wait for it to cool, slice and serve.  

     

    (USE IF: You want to make the dough the night before, then bake on the day.)
    1. Dissolve yeast in water. 
    2. Add the flour to water and yeast and mix until just combined. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. 
    3. Add in salt and mix well for 5 minutes. 
    4. Add in the olive oil slowly to the well-mixed dough. It will take some time to absorb all the oil and you will be left with quite a wet, oily dough. 
    5. Leave the dough to prove in the fridge, covering the bowl with a wet tea towel, for as long as you like until you are ready to bake. Ideally no more than 24 hours. 
    6. Oil a wide, shallow baking tin well and tip the now risen dough into the tin. Gently stretch the dough so that it fills the tin. Let it proof for another 45 minutes. 
    7. Preheat your oven to 200oC.
    8. After the second proofing, use your fingers to push dimples into the focaccia. Sprinkle a good glug of olive oil, any toppings you have chosen and salt. 
    9. Bake for 25 minutes. 
    10. When it comes out of the oven, add a little more olive oil to the hot bread. Wait for it to cool, slice and serve.  

     

    (USE IF: You tried to make bread and messed up the dough. Please note, this is a good way of using up over/underproofed dough.) 
    1. Take your bread dough
    4. Work out the amount of olive oil that you need by working out 10% of the weight of flour that you used to make the bread dough. Add the olive oil in slowly to dough. It will take some time to absorb all the oil and you will be left with quite a wet, oily dough. 
    5. Leave the dough to proof for 45 minutes. 
    6. Oil a wide, shallow baking tin well and tip the now risen dough into the tin. Gently stretch the dough so that it fills the tin. Let it proof for another 30 minutes. 
    7. Preheat your oven to 200oC.
    8. Use your fingers to push dimples into the focaccia. Sprinkle a good glug of olive oil, any toppings you have chosen and salt. 
    9. Bake for 25 minutes. 
    10. When it comes out of the oven, add a little more olive oil to the hot bread. Wait for it to cool, slice and serve.  
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